* Editor’s note:
Every now and then something comes up that you’re not sure if it’s meant to be ‘out loud’ in an article or not. Sometimes articles require praying about and lots of thought before posting. Lawngren’s thoughts below are in response to the latest US deaths in Afghanistan, and what he presents here is an interesting idea of the spiritual nature of things in the ME and here in our time, and meant as an encouragement to our troops and all of us.
It is true that many Muslims are coming to know Jesus and leaving the religion of Islam, and it is true that the door has been cracked open into many places in the ME and the church, while still underground, is growing.
When I first heard the news of the three US Service members killed and three others injured, my prayers as always are for the families & teams, but also I prayed for the people. Most of them are regular people just like us, who happened to be born in a nation where evil rules. They want to live their lives and raise their families without having ideologically driven dictators ruling their every waking minute, and without being drawn into wars and terror. They need our prayers, and while many Americans are torn on whether or not our troops ought to be there, our troops have provided so much for the people- not only in Afghanistan but Iraq, Syria, and so many other places. They do fight evil where it is, and many do it because it’s always been their calling.
While we mostly see the physical world, the politics, the casualties, and think of friends, family and others who have been or are still over there giving so much of themselves, it’s hard to remember the spiritual world and ponder the ways that God uses circumstances, rulers and people to carry out His will and purpose. So while lawngren’s article is one of those that we’re not sure how folks will react to, I thought it was important and worth posting so folks could ponder it and discuss their views on it too.
This is for all of us here, but especially I hope America’s warriors see this.
Abba, if this is right in Your eyes, I pray with all my heart that You will bring this message to all our warriors.
I’m thinking of a post about an IED that killed three US troops and one contractor in Afghanistan. Thinking about my prayer that God bring all our warriors home, and my belief that we should not be in the Mideast at all.
I have another belief, and the two just collided in my mind: I believe that America’s time is over, that we are just waiting for something I don’t comprehend before the Rapture.
The Bible says, “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in …” (Romans 11:25)
Anyone who is not a Jew is a Gentile. The people of all Mideastern nations except Israel are Gentiles. Their part of the world has had so little contact with the Word of God, so little chance to hear and learn from it the way of salvation through faith in Jesus. Islam has had a very tight stranglehold on thought … until recently. Still tight, but the door has been opened just slightly. And that is due in part to the havoc American warriors are making of the devil’s plan.
We have been hearing for several years at least of miracles right out of the book of Acts happening in the Mideast, resulting in Muslims becoming believers in Jesus. We have heard of the slaughter of churches there, but the devil doesn’t bother lukewarm churches. So those churches – of Mideasterners – had to have been having an impact! They had to be shaking the world of Islam!
What if the real story in the Mideast IS NOT the wars there? What if the real story is the moving of the Holy Spirit in the Mideast, at long last smashing barriers and pouring Himself out into hearts that are open, in circumstances that are open, for the first and last time in history?
“The full number of the Gentiles” is being gathered in!”
Then how do we think about our warriors in the Mideast? Instead of thinking about them as Americans on an American mission, what if this is GOD’s Last Outreach? Although I see no indication that Islam will be destroyed at this time, our warriors, I am convinced, are there on God’s mission to delay and distract and deter the forces of evil until the last believer from the Gentiles is brought to the foot of the cross in repentance and salvation.
I think this is the real explanation. This is why, in spite of many prayers for our warriors to come home, in spite of many conservatives pushing withdrawal from the Mideast, American troops are still there.
This feels like truth to me. It makes sense. It means our warriors are on a mission from God. And that means that they can not lose. They can not lose, because, as hard as it is, as much as we wish you were home, warriors, you are fighting a war that God intended you to fight. And His purposes for His actions never fail!
Whether you return to your homeland safely, brutally damaged, or not at all, you are winning the victory that God has planned. You don’t have to defeat Islam or terrorism. You are the Warriors of the West, the best of the West, the West that once honored the God of the Bible.
You are holding back the darkness as much as God will allow at this time. You are “holding open the Door” through which an uncountable number will escape. Jesus said, “I am the door. By me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture. The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.”
Here is the end result which you warriors are contributing to:
After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: “Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.”
… Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”
I answered, “Sir, you know.”
And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” (From Revelation chapter 7)
Revelation 2:11: “Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who is victorious will not be hurt at all by the second death.”
Revelation 20:6: “Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.”
You will accomplish everything that God has planned. But the battle is beyond what your human eyes can see. Like Elisha’s servant in 2nd Kings 6:11-17:
This [intelligence leak] enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, “Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?”
“None of us, my lord the king,” said one of his officers, “but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.”
“Go, find out where he is,” the king ordered, “so I can send men and capture him.” The report came back: “He is in Dothan.” Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.
When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. “Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?” the servant asked.
“Don’t be afraid,” the prophet answered. “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”
And Elisha prayed, “Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”